Hearing Loss

For many people, hearing problems begin slowly over time and without any discomfort or pain. As such, it isn't unusual for family members to adapt to someone's gradual hearing loss, without realising they're doing it. All of which makes it difficult to self diagnose.

Diagnosing Hearing Loss

If you think you might have hearing loss, these simple questions will help:

  • Do you regularly ask others to repeat themselves?
  • Do you struggle following conversations with more than two people?
  • Do you find you need to be facing a person to hear what they're saying?
  • Do you often feel like others are mumbling or slurring words?
  • Do you have difficulty hearing in crowded places like restaurants, meeting rooms, theatres and shopping centres?
  • Do you struggle to hear callers when on the telephone?
  • Do you have a hard time hearing women or children?
  • Do you I prefer the TV or radio volume louder than others?
  • Do I experience ringing or buzzing in my ears?

If your answer to a number of the above question is yes, there's a chance you are experiencing some hearing loss and we'd recommend a hearing test. The sooner it is addressed, the better it will be for your future hearing.

Free Hearing Tests
We offer free hearing tests at our branches or in the comfort of your own home.

For your convenience, we offer Free Hearing Tests at our branches in Grange-over-Sands and Edinburgh or in the comfort of your own home as part of our Free Home Consultations service.

Causes Of Hearing Loss

There are many factors that may be resonsible for hearing loss, including:


The most common cause, hearing loss due to ageing is a natural process called Presbycusis and cannot be stopped.


Hearing loss due to noise is dependent on both the level of noise and the length of exposure, though sometimes even short exposure to loud noise can result in hearing loss.

Working or having worked in a noisy environment is a common and significant factor in noise induced hearing problems.

Ear Infections

Ear infections, also referred to as Otitis Media, are caused by bacteria. They can cause swelling in the middle ear and a build up of fluid, thus obstructing normal travel of sound.


There are a number of injuries that can cause hearing loss, including head trauma, puncturing of the eardrum (for example, from the use of cotton buds) and quick changes in air pressure.


Tinnitus is a ringing or buzzing sound that often appears to be coming from outside your ear. The sound differs from person to person and can often sound like it is in tune with your heart beat. This is known as Pulsatile Tinnitus. It can be uncomfortable and distressing for sufferers, but it is not life threatening.

Ototoxic Drugs

Found in some antibiotics and often used in the treatment of serious diseases such as cancer, ototoxic drugs can damage hair cells in the inner ear, thus leading to hearing loss.


There are a number of diseases that can cause hearing loss, including:

  • Meningitis - An infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.
  • Ménière's Disease - A disorder of the inner ear characterised by vertigo and tinnitus.
  • Otosclerosis - An irregular growth of bones in the ear.
  • Glue Ear - Common in young children. Liquid builds up behind the eardrum, initially runny, only to become thicker.


There are several genetic conditions that can cause hearing loss. These include:

  • Usher's Syndrome - A condition where you're born hard of hearing and can later develop problems with sight.
  • Treacher Collins Syndrome - A defect affecting facial development.

Sudden Hearing Loss

This occurs when your hearing degrades quickly over a very short period of time and can be caused by a number of the factors above, including tumours and tinnitus.

If you develop sudden hearing loss, it is recommended you seek out urgent medical assistance.

Sudden Hearing Loss
If you develop sudden hearing loss, please seek out urgent medical assistance.

Types Of Hearing Loss

St John's Hearing Aid Centre offer Free Hearing Tests carried out by experienced, qualified audiologists. From the results, they will be able to determine the type of hearing loss you might be experiencing.

There are four types of hearing loss as follows:

  • Conductive Hearing Loss - Caused by conditions in the outer and / or middle ear. A common example of conductive hearing loss is a build up of earwax, requiring Ear Wax Removal.
  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss - Caused by damage to the nerve hair cells in the cochlea, which, when working correctly, relay sound information to the brain via electric signals.
  • Mixed - A combination of the two types described above.
  • Central Auditory Processing Disorder - An umbrella term for conditions which affect the brains ability to process auditory information.

Impact of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be more than a simple medical condition, it can also have a profound effect on your day to day life.

Social Impact

In social and working environments, hearing loss can have a significant impact:

  • Conversation can become less fluid and thus difficult to maintain.
  • Difficulty distinguishing sounds can often seem to others as though you are ignoring them.
  • Family and friends may become frustrated with the situation, causing disharmony in your relationships.
  • It can be difficult getting on at work.
  • Your personality may change as you adjust and thus become isolated, avoiding potential social interaction.

Psychological Impact

Hearing loss can therefore also lead to:

  • Feelings of anger.
  • Low confidence, especially in social situations.
  • Frustration.
  • Depression.
  • Difficulty concentrating when trying to communicate.
  • Embarrassment.
  • A short-temper and intolerance towards others.

It is important therefore that you address the problem before it develops.

Free Hearing Tests

With over 40 years in the industry, St John's Hearing Aid Centre understand all of the factors above. We aim to provide a professional, relaxed and personal approach to the world of Hearing Aids - in a pressure free environment.

The first step to addressing hearing loss is a hearing test.

Contact us for Free Hearing Tests at either our Grange-over-Sands or Edinburgh branches or in the comfort of your own living room as part of our Free Home Consultations service.

Contact Us

For impartial advice, to Make an Appointment or to enquire about any of our products and services, please get in touch:

Cumbria, Lothians and Beyond

From our branches in Grange-over-Sands and Edinburgh, our private hearing consultants are ideally placed to serve Cumbria, the Lothians and Fife.

With our Home Visits and Free Home Consultations services, we cover Ambleside, Arnside, Askam-in-Furness, Barrow-in-Furness, Bonnyrigg, Broughton-in-Furness, Carlisle, Carnforth, Coniston, Dalkeith, Dalton-in-Furness, Dunbar, Dunfermline, East Lothian, Edinburgh, Fife, Gorebridge, Grange-over-Sands, Haddington, Hawkshead, Kendal, Keswick, Kirkby Lonsdale, Kirkby Stephen, Kirkcaldy, Leith, Midlothian, Milnthorpe, Millom, Musselburgh, Newtongrange, North Berwick, Peebles, Penicuik, Penrith, Portobello, Prestonpans, Tranent, Ulverston, West Lothian, Windermere, Workington and more!